Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cherokee Sonetto

painting by david wright

Cherokee Sonetto

In the seventh century the Cherokee were named
one of the “Five Civilized Tribes” as they could assimilate
numerous cultural practices, were willing to be trained
by arrogant European-American settlers to emulate

the invader’s Continental clothing styles and beliefs;
so the bible was translated completely into Cherokee
and Sam Houston was treated like one of their chiefs
before the Indian Removal Act became the major key

in 1838, for Martin Van Buren, who was then President,
to dispatch 7,000 federal troops to evict 16,000 Cherokee,
force marching them 800 miles, mandated by the government
to travel to the hellhole called The Indian Territory.

Yet today, the Cherokee thrive, having 300,000 members,
the largest tribe in the United States, now patriotic partners.

Glenn Buttkus

September 2012

Posted over on dVerse Poets

Would you like to hear the author read this sonnet?


Beachanny said...

Absolutely Shakespearean in structure; heroic in content. Yes, you played with line length and meter and yet it stands tall and proud as the Cherokees themselves as a well formed sonnet with your unique voice. Well done! (Didn't hurt that karma (or sky chiefs) bestowed many oil leases on that land..hahahahaha!)

Anonymous said...

Bold and intelligent Glenn...l love it. A wonderfully unique sonnet - and a history lesson.

Susan said...

An amazing ending given the history you relate! Your diction and images are emotion free, the better to cause the reaction out here, in me. A proud people, justly so.

vivinfrance said...

I once wrote a sonnet in iambic octameter, so I know exactly why you took liberties with the conventional meter: it allows you to tell a compelling story in sufficient detail. Bravo.

Susan Daniels said...

Like this, Glenn. It read so naturally, was hard to believe I was reading formed poetry.

Friko said...

Glenn, this is nothing to do with the poem, which I'll read some other time.

I have had an email purporting to be from you, stranded in Madrid, Spain, asking me to send you 2.600 dollars. Best check if somebody has hacked into your account. You are the second blogger friend who has been 'mugged at gunpoint' in Madrid and asked me to bail them out.

Chris Lawrence said...

A proud and distinguished piece

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

well, done and I love history lessons disguised as a sonnet.

Glenn Buttkus said...

Friko: I knew someone hacked my Yahoo and Facebook emails, but this is the first I have heard of blogging friends being included; of course, it is a bullshit scam, please disregard.

Anonymous said...

This is such an interesting sonnet, Glenn. It undercuts expectations, plays with the form, both of which serve the theme very effectively I think. Thought-provoking.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Powerfully done.

Sabio Lantz said...

I enjoyed reading about the Cherokee though I sort of knew the story - which can never be known enough.

Form question: the rhyme is there, but no analogy or meter -- or did I miss something? Was avoiding the form intentional? Otherwise, I agree with the other commentor who suggested this is a very good history lesson disguised as a sonnet. But maybe that is why you called it a "sonneto"! (or is that Italian for sonnet?)

The Twist at the end with "patriotic partners" was odd -- it makes me want a sequel. Is it sarcasm? Does this show that the enculturation was pathetically successful? Or does it praise patriotism?

Glenn Buttkus said...

Sabio, yes I violated the strictness of absolute sonnet form, and Sonetto is Italian for sonnet, the last line is rife with some poetic sarcasm. Thanks for the thoughtful comment.